Tag Archive for: HVAC

Adding on to Your Home? 6 HVAC Considerations That Should Be Part of Your Project

Planning a home addition requires myriad issues and tasks to be thought through and documented. A crucial part of home remodeling is addressing heating and cooling requirements for the new space. Talking over HVAC requirements with a home heating and cooling expert should be one of your primary tasks. So, if you’re adding on to your home, here are six HVAC considerations that should be part of your project.

1. Are There HVAC Regulations You Need to Know About?

In this era of rapid technological changes to energy production methods (think solar and battery storage), new HVAC regulations inevitably come into play. Likewise, the relentless pursuit of energy efficiency also drives new heating and cooling equipment standards. As part of your upfront home addition planning, you should check with government agencies on any recent rule changes. Good starting points are the Energy Information Administration and the Department of Energy.

2. Will the Extra Footage from Your Home Addition Need More HVAC?

One of the vital HVAC matters to consider is the level of heating and cooling needed in the new space. It would help if you asked several key questions:

  1.       What will be the most cost-efficient way to cool and heat the area?
  2.       Can you extend the existing HVAC system to the room with additional ductwork?
  3.       Will the new space be energy passive?
  4.       If new HVAC equipment is needed, does it have to be connected to existing systems, or can it stand   alone?

Expert HVAC companies can be worth their weight in gold at this early stage of your planning. They will generally give you free advice on all relevant new and updated laws and equipment standards, as this knowledge is essential to their business.

3. Should You Reconfigure Ductwork?

So, should you consider reconfiguring existing ductwork to deliver seasonal cooling and heating to the home addition? With walls opened up and ductwork exposed, this can be an opportune time to expand your existing HVAC. It will be much cheaper to add some new ductwork and a vent at this point in the project than after completion.

You should go back to the project plan to calculate and compare the cost of expansion over a new HVAC system or a stand-alone appliance.

4. Is This a Good Opportunity to Upgrade Your HVAC?

You don’t want to overinvest in a new HVAC if it’s unnecessary. But with all the work occurring on the home addition, there may be cost savings to upgrading machinery now, rather than postponing.

One of the HVAC matters to consider is whether upcoming regulatory changes will cost you in retrofitting and balance that cost against the price of a new system. In addition, examine whether the improved efficiencies of new equipment can help offset the higher purchase price. 

5. Critical HVAC Matters to Consider — What type of HVAC is best suited for the new space?

Working out the most efficient way to address the energy required for the new home space will take some time. You’ll need to work through the different types of HVAC appliances on the market, including price and energy outputs. And, of course, you’ll need to tailor the solution to your specific climate and weather characteristics.

Air conditioners can be purchased as evaporative coolers, window units, wall-mounted, or even portable appliances. Heating can be supplied via furnace systems, permanently wall-mounted or portable space heaters, and mini-split systems.

Geothermal and hybrid systems, while not as common on the market, can also be investigated and costed.

6. How will you Maintain your HVAC during and after renovation?

Building and renovating is a messy business. Dust will be shaken loose and move throughout the home. Debris from opening up walls, building new ones, plastering, and painting, will all contribute to poor air quality until the home addition work is complete.

As much as practical, you don’t want this filthy air getting into the HVAC where it will collect and put a strain on the equipment. Minimizing the use of your HVAC during the peak of building work will assist. Checking, cleaning, and replacing air filters can be done more regularly than before the home addition work began. Use exhaust fans to blow dust and debris out of the house where you can.

Get Expert Assistance from Briggs HVAC in North Virginia

At Briggs HVAC, we are highly experienced with fitting many different types of HVAC systems. If you’re planning a new installation, need advice on general heating and cooling matters, or need to schedule a maintenance visit, please get in touch. Your HVAC can probably do with a good inspection and clean after all that building work.

5 Tips for Buying an AC Unit

With spring here and summer approaching, you can expect a marked rise in temperature. While spring temperatures can often be comfortable and feel “just right,” once summer gets into full swing, the temperature indoors can get hot and uncomfortable.

For your comfort and the safety of pets, children, the elderly, and even electronics in your home, it’s important to maintain cooler temperatures indoors, and air conditioning is the best solution. If you’re buying an AC unit for the first time, or you haven’t been in the market for a while, what should you be looking for? How do you make sure that the AC unit you’re considering is the best one for your needs? We’ve got five great tips to help you out!

Decide on Coverage

From the start, you’ll need to make a big decision. Do you want full coverage of your entire building or partial coverage for select rooms? For example, if you want an entire home to be cooled, then you’ll likely need a centralized air conditioning solution. So, buying an AC unit that connects directly to an existing furnace and ventilation system will allow you to make use of the vents that already go into every room.

On the other hand, if you’ve just finished an attic, and you want to keep it cool but don’t want to add expensive new vents to that room, you can try a different option. A mini-split solution or even a window AC unit is a better fit to cool smaller or particular spaces.

Size Matters

Buying an AC unit is also about making sure that you get a model that suits the square footage of the space. Get a unit that’s too powerful, and you’re paying for electricity that you don’t need to be using every time the unit turns on. Get a unit that doesn’t put out enough power for the building, and it will work longer than it needs to, which results in higher electric bills as well.

To avoid missteps, get an experienced AC technician to evaluate the space you want air conditioning for. They will measure the square footage and then make a recommendation. You want the right unit for the right amount of space in order to treat the air effectively and manage your spending.

Think About Your Length of Stay

If you are upgrading your HVAC system because you’re getting ready to sell your property, you’ll want to buy an AC unit that makes your home attractive but doesn’t eat into potential profits. However, if you’ve just moved into a home for the long term, and you’re buying an AC unit, your priorities are different. You’ll want to consider efficiency, coverage, different types of models and technological advancements, trends, and of course, cost. The length of time you plan to stay in a home plays a role in how you decide to invest in your new AC unit.

Look at the Rest of Your Home

If you’re buying an AC unit that’s new, you’re likely to get a big boost in your cooling efficiency. But you can get an even bigger boost if your home itself is also more energy-efficient. Evaluate your windows, have your roof looked at, and see whether your walls or your roof would benefit from new insulation to prevent that cool air from leaking out.

You’d be surprised at how much more you can save if you get the rest of your home in shape for the summer and winter months.

Pick the Right Installer

The most important decision you can make after selecting and buying an AC unit is to install it professionally. Buying an AC unit with high efficiency will only benefit you if the installation is done correctly. If you hire the cheapest installer available and ignore a poor reputation or bad reviews, you may end up paying for that choice in the long run with higher energy bills than you should be paying.

Always make sure that the installer you hire is reputable, experienced, and willing to come to your home and evaluate it personally so that you get a custom solution. Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to provide you with a consultation and estimate so that you can decide how you want to cool your home this summer and enjoy both comfort and cost-efficiency.

How to Pick the Best HVAC Company in North Virginia

The HVAC company you select must be qualified to complete the work in your home. Only by taking on the research process and reviewing the local marketplace can you find the right company for your home’s requirements. Our team at Briggs HVAC has decades of experience in the HVAC marketplace, and in this latest post, we’re explaining our tips for choosing the best HVAC company.

Read Customer Reviews Online

When you’re going through the research phase to find the best HVAC company to help you, make sure you read customer reviews online. Customer reviews can tell you more about how the company’s team completed their work inside the home. The review will likely point out if the company’s staff was late to the property and when issues occurred during their work. Or, reviews can confirm that the company is reputable and performs high-quality work. Ensure you read a number of reviews from different sources.

Ensure the Technicians Are Licensed and Insured

Make sure that the technicians the company employs have full insurance and have completed the licensing for HVAC work in the area. If the technician and their employer do not have full insurance, you may find you’re responsible for any damage that occurs to your property or any injuries they sustain during their work.
When a technician is licensed, it’s proof that they have the expertise to handle complex HVAC work, helping give you confidence in their competency.

Discuss the Pricing Before Coming to an Agreement

The pricing for your HVAC work should be discussed with the HVAC company before moving forward. Ensure that you know exactly how much you will be charged for the work to be completed.
Also, ask about the potential for any additional charges resulting from the work on your home. For example, will the company’s technicians ask you before completing further work outside the current scope? Once you have a final agreement regarding the quoted price, you can then move forward to discuss the project in greater detail.

Try to Avoid Choosing Solely Based on Price

A common mistake many homeowners make when selecting an HVAC firm is choosing simply based on price. That can lead to a number of issues with the quality of the workmanship. Price can be a key factor in your decision-making process, but it shouldn’t be your sole basis for choosing a company. It should be one of many factors that go into hiring the best HVAC company for work in your home.

Find Out How You Can Help Their Team

In some cases, the homeowner may be able to help the HVAC company complete their work effectively. For example, you may be asked to ensure the work area is clear of obstacles before the technicians arrive. You might also be asked to ensure that pets and small children are kept away from the area for the duration of the project. Taking these small steps can often make a significant difference in the quality of the completed work.

Discuss the Project in Detail Before They Begin

Make sure you have an idea about the type of work the company will be completing in your home before they begin. Often, homeowners simply let the HVAC team enter the property and complete their work without fully knowing the type of repair or installation work the company is completing within the home. That can mean companies get away with poor workmanship or mistakes during the working process. Try to find out as much as possible before the work begins, and make sure you ask questions if you’re unsure about any aspect of the process.

Discuss the Warranty

When you choose an HVAC contractor, the contractor should provide you with some form of warranty that states they will fix any errors that occur during their work. The warranty is designed to give you peace of mind when working with the contractor. It also protects you in case the contractor doesn’t follow-up with you after you find a problem with their workmanship. Ask for a copy of the company’s warranty before the work begins, and ensure you’re comfortable with the wording in the document.

Turn to Our Team at Briggs HVAC for Quality Repair and Installation Work

Looking for the best HVAC company for home repairs? Look no further. Our trusted team at Briggs HVAC has a comprehensive understanding of HVAC systems, including installation and repair requirements. We work with clients throughout McLean, Fairfax, and Great Falls to deliver exceptional HVAC services. If you have an issue with the HVAC systems in your home, you can turn to our team for a quick response! Call us today for a consultation.